May 6, 2012

English cricket

Cricket talent slipping through England's nets

Devashish Fuloria

The demographics of English cricket have changed in the last decade, with more players from privileged backgrounds making it to higher grades of cricket, says Scyld Berry in The Telegraph. Of the current lot of top cricketers, only Ravi Bopara comes from a state school background. Berry talks to Bopara to highlight what english cricket is letting slip through its structure.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is beginning to monitor the players’ social background, but it would not offer an official comment beyond pointing out that 4,000 state schools and 1.5 million pupils have been introduced to cricket under their Chance to Shine programme.The trouble here though is that only 5 per cent have progressed to club cricket.

Only one batsman from an English state school is anywhere near the Test team: Ravi Bopara, 26, who spent the winter as England’s reserve batsman but started this season with a century for Essex at Headingley, while his team-mates could hardly lay a bat on the moving ball.

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Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

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